Keeping meticulous records of the baseline setup
and any changes from that baseline is one of the most important things that you
can do. Accurate records include details of the original baseline setup, the
track conditions, the weather conditions, the changes that are made to the
baseline setup, and the resulting changes in handling characteristics of the
car. These records become your most important resource when setting up the car
for an evening's racing. The racer can then consult the records to determine
which successful adjustments go along with the conditions that are expected at
race time. Rather than testing all afternoon, the racer should be ready to go at
the first practice session, leaving enough time for testing without being too
far away from actual race conditions. If the car is tight on a warm track, the
racer should consider that the track will change, and resist the temptation to
start making all kinds of adjustments to the car. If a large problem is
encountered in prerace testing, first consult your records before making
wholesale changes in the setup.
Another issue to remember is that during testing, the car must be driven
consistently. Drivers have a tendency to try to make the car go fast regardless
of the way the car is handling. To determine what adjustments to make, the
driver must be consistent, braking at the same spot, rolling back on the
throttle at the same spot, and hitting the same spots in the turns every time.
Only then can the car be diagnosed and corrected.
Records should be kept on a form designed for this purpose, and all information
must be logged at the time it is determined. Don't trust the information to
memory and hope to remember it when you open the book tomorrow - you will
forget. Going back to the car to measure and record the settings on the morning
after a race is also a bad idea - the adjustments may have changed during the
Mike Loescher is the owner and
chief instructor at FinishLine Racing School in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Mike holds Chassis Seminars throughout the year - all around the USA & Canada.
View our class schedule or call
to schedule a private setup date.
CLICK HERE for class pricing
Contact us for more info